Opening up the Pentland Firth to wave, tidal and offshore wind projects would cut Scotland's carbon emissions by 30%, according to Scottish Renewables
The energy trade association said this was equivalent to taking more than 4.5 million cars off the roads.
The Crown Estate said on Wednesday it plans to allow companies to produce “green” energy in the sea between mainland Scotland and Orkney.
Wave and tidal devices could be generating power by 2020.
Scottish Renewables said Scotland’s new Marine Bill, which is being considered by MSPs, should not constrain renewable energy schemes at sea.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has previously said the bill can strike the balance between protecting wildlife and allowing development.
Chief executive Niall Stuart said: “Green energy should have a strong and rightful place in the new plans that will emerge for our seas and we need to ensure that climate change and renewables are centre stage.”